Terracotta art and architecture reached unprecedented heights in 16th century Bengal. The devotional movement then sweeping over the region, opened floodgates of creativity. Sacred and civilian buildings, made of baked clay bricks and decorated with extravagant motifs, were set up to showcase the resurgent innovative spirits of the artists and craftsmen. Monumental structures were designed by the architects using innovative techniques that managed to defy the fragility of terracotta structures. Even five hundred years on, the remains of these historical edifices overwhelm us with their beauty and intricacy. What was the essence of terracotta art? And, how did the artists manage to create such timeless pieces of work?
Aki Inomata uses her art to amply depict the anxieties of her time. Series like Why Not Hand Over a “Shelter” to Hermit Crabs? is an unerring commentary on the synthetic to downright ludicrous aspects of modern civilisation. Questions are often raised loud and clear. Somewhat ironically though, these very aspects of her art tend to harmonise instead of polarising views. For in the heart of heart, Aki carries the precious age old sentiments of her land that believes in life, in its every form and expression, to be sacred and reverential.
Sharon Moody was born in Florida, but spent much of her time in North Carolina until she completed her BFA from Appalachian State University, Boone, NC in 1973. The ensuing years were marked by her continued explorations in the world of art, further studies, including an MFA degree from George Washington University, Washington DC, and being a teacher and mentor to young talents. In between, she developed a rich body of work that is permeated by the colours of her own thoughts and sensibilities.
Brad Spencer is a forerunner among the artists who explored the potential of creating brick sculptures in recent times. In fact, he dedicated three decades of his life to perfecting his skills at this not–so–usual–art form. Due to the nature of the work, brick sculptures are particularly suited for public art projects. Many prominent landmarks of Reidsville, North Carolina, where the artist lives, and beyond are now adorned with Brad’s sculptural essays. The visual lyricism of his art is self-evident.
Born in 1971, Ed Chapman tiptoed into the world of art holding the hands of his artist parents. Playing with pastels or pencils were part of his everyday routine even before he was conscious of his natural gifts. But instead of the more conventional media like acrylic or gouache, Ed Chapman found mosaic to be ideally suited for his artistic expressions. He devoted himself in the exploration of mosaic art and finding his own niche in its illustrious legacy. From ceramic to pieces of paper, smashed vinyl records to plectrums, there is hardly any item with which creating art is not possible for Ed.